Manual Poetic Memory: The Forgotten Self in Plath, Howe, Hinsey, and Glück

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In it she stares down her own death, and, in so doing, forces endless superimpositions of the possible on the impossible--an act that simultaneously defies and embraces the inevitable, and is, finally, mimetic. Over and over, at each wild leap or transformation, flames shoot up the reader's spine. Meadowlands is by turns tolerant, expansive, bracingly comic and, finally, heartbreaking.

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Shifting between the mythic and the modern, Louise Gluck teaches us to look at The Odyssey in a new and unexpected manner. Here we find Penelope stubbornly weaving, transforming waiting into an act of will; here, too, a shrewd preternaturally knowing adolescent Telemachus, a divided Odysseus, a worldly Circe. A modern couple also occupies these poems, engaged in the endless negotiation of contemporary domestic realities rendered in an ongoing conversation, eternally unresolved, rich with the charged trivia of daily life.

But post-modernism, on the whole, has stood aside from what artists have thought was at stake in their art in order to dissect it. Gluck is also quite expert - wry sometimes, darkly funny even - at dissection but in these essays one never doubts what is at stake: an art as truthful, adamant, and unflinching as the intelligence that she brings to her own. It is the testament of a major poet.

The First Four Books of Poems shows this poet in the conscious evolution she describes, marking time in changes. Readers will hear specifics of sequence: where the ferocious tension of her first book, Firstborn, moves towards the more finely-spun lyricism of her second, The House on Marshland. They will also discover how the charged nouns of that book acquire more intimate weight to become the icons in her third, Descending Figure, and then rise to an archetypal mythic scale in The Triumph of Achilles.

Poetic Memory : Uta Gosmann :

These poems are as various as the force of Gluck's intelligence is constant. In another essay, she cautions, "the deft skirting of despair is a life lived on the surface, intimidated by depth, a life that refuses to be used by time, which it tries instead to dominate or evade. The fierce, austerely beautiful voice that has become Gluck's trademark speaks in these poems of a life lived in unflinching awareness. Always she is moving in and around the achingly real, writing poems adamant in their accuracy and depth.

Ellen Hinsey

Table of contents 1 Introduction Chapter 2 1. Sylvia Plath: Re-membering the Colossus Chapter 3 2. Susan Howe's Nonconformist Memorials Chapter 4 3. She interviewed Gluck, Howe, and Hinsey in preparation for writing this study. Gosmann situates her analysis in memory studies, a field currently prevalent in academic circles. She provides a definition of what she terms "poetic memory": in contrast to "historic memory," poetic memory "posits that the self is more than the compound of a person's remembered biography She uses and skillfully deploys differing theoretical constructs for each chapter, as required by the "poets' divergent mnemonics": Maurice Halbwachs Plath ; Freud, Kristeva, and Lacan Howe ; Walter Benjamin Hinsey ; and Jung Gluck.


Gosmann asserts that a poem is "a map of consciousness Summing Up: Recommended. The sensibility behind it is at once delicate and hard-nosed. The author is a rare being-someone with strong theoretical leanings who also loves the texture of poetic language. Gosmann argues that poetic memory eschews simple-minded notions of linearity and accuracy in order to uncover the human subject's intricate relationship to a past that in the most fundamental sense it cannot fully know.

It is a philosophical-poetic investigation into the twentieth-century's legacy of totalitarianism and the rise of political illegality. It is not a book we can afford to ignore. Like Robert O. Beginning in February , she traveled to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague to listen to witness sessions. It was published in by Notre Dame University Press and Bloodaxe Books and has been called "an urgent, probing book.

The Life of the Talented Tragic Poet Sylvia Plath Through Amazing Photos

Her memoir collaboration with Lithuanian dissident and poet Tomas Venclova, Magnetic North: Conversations with Tomas Venclova , which examines postwar totalitarianism, dissidence and ethical choices, has been published in German, English, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Polish editions.